This article is the first in a series of four that will look at CRMs in depth, considering what a CRM is; what a CRM can add to your business; how you can choose the best CRM for your business - and how to get the most from it. In the simplest of terms, a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a software tool that allows businesses to track their interactions with customers and prospects in a flexible and scalable way. It pools a myriad of customer data in one place, allowing a business to record and, in some cases, automate its interactions with customers and prospects.
Marketers often focus their efforts on new business, but sometimes, the fastest and most cost-effective way to grow your business is to look at your existing customers. In fact, the success rate of upselling or cross-selling to an existing customer is around 50% higher than selling to a new one for the first time.
Marketing innovates, tests and refines ideas that increase your business’ presence in the marketplace, making more prospective customers more aware of who you are and what you do. It also brings customers into your business, guides them to the point where they’re willing to spend money, and keeps them there and spending for as long as possible. All of these fit into our Marketing 360 framework - they’re all goals and activities which are part of one overarching function, and it’s all directed toward growth.
Introduction Tried and tested best practice will make the best of whatever economic and political situation a business finds itself in, whether it’s the continued uncertainty around Britain’s future in the EU, the overheating and protectionist tendency of the US market, or the continuing rise of China and India.
When businesses wanted to buy software pre-internet, they would physically buy a CD-ROM, install it on everyone’s computer and pay a licensing fee. Like so many sectors, the rise of the web turned things on its head. Software as a Service (SaaS) is a way of delivering software online, paying a monthly subscription without installation costs. Since the rise of Salesforce in the late 90s, the SaaS market has exploded. Lower costs, greater access to cloud storage and increased speed have moved the market away from an enterprise-only concern to a space open to businesses of all sizes.